O-H-I-Grow! Summit on Urban Ag & Community Gardening

Sustainable Clintonville member Jodi Kushins and her family and friends operate “Over the Fence,” an urban farm in Columbus.  Over the Fence is dedicated to experimenting with, mastering, and sharing techniques for growing food that promote self-reliance and sustainability, and support our consumption of more fresh and locally harvested food.  Toward these ends, our farm serves as a demonstration site for season extension practices, vertical gardening, and permaculture design.

Jodi recently attended the O-H-I-Grow summit at the Franklin Park Conservatory, hosted by the Growing to Green program. She summarized her experience in her blog, which chronicles her experience in the adventure of urban farming. Here’s an excerpt:

The day started with one of the most dynamic speakers I’ve heard in awhile –Mud Baron. Mud spoke to me as both an urban farmer and educator. I loved that he spoke without a script, had a powerpoint with a few hundred beautiful images of people and plants – rather than bullet points – playing in no particular order on the screen behind him, and that he repeatedly dropped the f-bomb. How refreshing. A real person sharing his passion and experiences. He wasn’t there to teach us anything per se, but to inspire us and as far as I’m concerned he nailed it. You can get a taste of Mud’s philosophy and approach to gardening with teens in L.A. (though he’s an Ohio boy originally) by watching this videoproduced by one of his students at John Muir High School.

The rest of the day was filled with three panels representing urban farmers and community gardeners in the Cincinnati, Columbus, and Cleveland areas. It was great to hear about so many projects around the state I didn’t know about (field trip anyone?!), as well as to hear more about organizations here in town whose names I knew but didn’t know much about.

Jodi goes on to narrate her impressions of presentations on Franklinton Gardens; the St. Stephens Aquaponics program, Aquastart, which is growing tilapia fish in Linden; and the Urban Farms of Central Ohio, an offshoot of the Mid-Ohio Foodbank. She also describes projects based in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Cleveland. You can read the entire blog here: http://overthefenceurbanfarm.com/2015/04/21/o-h-i-grow/ You can also sign up to follow Jodi’s blog when she makes new posts.  

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